This appears to be the year of the upbeat superhero movie (er, ignoring Avengers: Infinity War) as we’ve seen Spider-man meet up with a bunch of alternative universe Spider-folk, Aquaman’s now all kinds of colourful and cracks bad jokes, while Ant-Man and the Wasp was filled with a great deal of humour, Venom’s self mockery was fairly amusing and Black Panther also had a lot of fun moments. But this is easily the daftest superhero flick of them all, and while it’s not the best it’s surprisingly good fun for all of the family, young and old, or even depressingly middle aged like I am.
The fairly meta plot revolves around the Teen Titans (Robin, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire and Cyborg for those not in to the comics) being upset that no one takes them seriously, and as a result of this no one wants to make a movie about Robin. A plan to stop all of the superheroes’ origin stories goes horribly wrong when after saving Krypton, stealing Wonder Woman’s lasso and stopping Martha and Thomas Wayne for taking a trip down crime alley they return to present day to find the Earth all but destroyed, and have to undo all the changes they made. But then they take on and beat their arch-nemsis, Slade, and suddenly famous superhero director Jade Wilson wants to make a film about them. Yet all is not as it seems and it turns out the director has evil plans of her own.
It’s undoubtedly aimed at the younger audience at times, there’s fart and poop jokes, a fair amount of dancing butts and the team burst in to song a good few times, whether it’s an appropriate time or not, but there’s plenty here for older folks too, including a great gag where the team beat up Shia LaBeouf. It’s also very knowing, there’s several jokes about them mistaking Slade for Deadpool, Stan Lee pops up before being told he’s in the wrong superhero universe, and there’s some cute cameos from not that well known characters like Animal Man and the Challengers of the Unknown who only comics fans will probably be aware of.
What did surprise was a number of fairly brutal gags found within the film, most of the time it’s all rather silly but at one point Robin throws a plastic six pack ring in to the ocean with the intention of murdering Aquaman, and sure they undo it but only when it turns out the world has gone terribly wrong by doing so. Even worse is the glee Robin shows when he ensures Batman’s origin takes place by putting pearls around Martha Wayne’s neck and shoving her and Thomas Wayne down crime alley and a rally of gunshots are heard. I mean I loved them personally, they were the highlight of the movie, but I’m surprised they included such scenes in film mostly meant for children.
It’s not without minor flaws, Robin’s obsession with being in his own movie borders on the obsessive and he’s tediously self-centred in the way he ignore the rest of the team, it is a central plot point and is resolved by the end but I have to admit I did find it slightly irritating at times. But then it is a kids film and perhaps I shouldn’t be so picky, and though it’s not as good as Spider-Man In To The Spider-Verse it’s definitely an enjoyable if throwaway flick, perfect for when you’re in the mood to watch something bright and breezy.
You can buy the dvd on Amazon here.